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About CCE

More than 40 faculty members in Caltech's Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (CCE) work at the forefront of their fields to advance knowledge in the areas of chemistry, chemical engineering, and biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Our faculty work in close partnership with undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral scholars. Together they apply their most innovative ideas to our fundamental knowledge of chemical processes, thereby tackling some of chemistry's most complex problems.

CCE Faculty Group Photo

CCE at a Glance

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech have a long tradition of excellence. Alumnus and CCE chair for 22 years Linus Pauling revolutionized the field with his insights into the nature of the chemical bond (Nobel Prize in 1954) and essentially invented the field of chemical biology. Arnold Beckman (PhD '28) invented the pH meter and other revolutionary instruments that led to new discoveries in biochemistry and medicine and founded Beckman Instruments, the first electronic instrumentation company. Gordon Moore (PhD '54) founded the semiconductor chip-making company Intel and authored Moore's Law (which predicts that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years). Rudy Marcus (Nobel Prize in 1992) revolutionized the theory of the rates of chemical reactions, and Ahmed Zewail (Nobel Prize in 1999) pioneered femtochemistry, allowing real-time observation of reaction transition states. Bob Grubbs (Nobel Prize in 2005) enabled olefin metathesis to become a powerful synthetic tool with broad applications in the chemical industry and the pharmaceutical industry. John Seinfeld (Tyler Prize, 2012) carries on Caltech's pioneering role in studying air pollution, determining the physics and chemistry of atmospheric aerosols. Frances Arnold (Nobel Prize in 2018) developed directed evolution as a way to invent new, protein-catalyzed reactions that are greener and more efficient than conventional processes.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

BS in Chemistry
BS in Chemical Engineering

Graduate Degrees

MS*, PhD in Chemistry
MS*, PhD in Chemical Engineering
MS*, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

*Awarded under special circumstances only

Current Rankings

CCE is top ranked in chemistry and in chemical engineering by the US News and World Report.

Faculty Honors and Awards

(Names in bold denote current members of the faculty)

3 members of all three branches of the National Academies (the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine), an honor that only 13 living individuals can claim:

David A. Tirrell, 2011
Mark E. Davis, 2011
Frances H. Arnold, 2008

Division Chairs

Sarah E. Reisman, 2019-present
Dennis A. Dougherty, 2019-2024
Jacqueline K. Barton, 2009-2019
David A. Tirrell, 1999-2009
Peter B. Dervan, 1994-1999
Fred C. Anson, 1984-1994
Harry B. Gray, 1978-1984
John D. Baldeschwieler, 1973-1978
John D. Roberts, 1972-1973
George Hammond, 1968-1972
John D. Roberts, 1963-1968
Ernest Swift, 1958-1963
Linus Pauling, 1937-1958
Arthur Amos Noyes, 1927-1937